Bench Fashion Week and more!


If teleportation was possible, I would be able to attend multiple events in different regions of the country. Last weekend, I almost made that possible when I was able to attend three events in Manila coming from Tali Beach in Nasugbu, Batangas, all so many hours away crossing through heavy traffic.

Changing in the car, I headed straight to the BENCH/Fashion Week, now on year three. For Spring/Summer 2019, Bench brought out the big guns with a highly anticipated three-day celebration of style featuring the best of the local and global fashion scene. 

Day 1 kicked off with designer-on-the-rise Seph Bagasao and equally promising Bench Design Awards 2018 winners Renz Reyes and Ched Dalogaog, whose respective pieces were strong and sophisticated in their own right. For casualwear, global brand Cotton On’s 90s-inspired collection and Suyen Corp’s very own alternative clothing brand Human’s indie pop flavor gave the crowd summer fashion fun. New York-based Filipino designer Rafe Totengco and his Siargao-inspired collection, Rafe x Bench, was the finale.

Day 2 was all about the ladies, with the show starting off with Bench’s own luxury multi-brand concept Assembly. Making appearances on the runway were brands such as Pucci, Minki, Mint Designs, Mihara Yasuhiro, Christopher Kane, Fratelli Rosetti, Rupert Sanderson, and Casadei. Day 2 also feature Kashieca and Mark Bumgarner.

A fitting end to Bench Fashion Week, the third and final day was a solid mix of style and star power. First up was JC Buendia, who delivered strong blacks and whites and surprised the crowd with bright yellows. This was followed by American Eagle, whose segment was a celebration of individuality and self-expression, and showcased pieces that are fun, fresh, and ready for more adventures. 

Closing BFW was Bench’s back-to-back extravaganza: the first from Bench Active, whose segment featured several Bench endorses such as Max Collins and Pancho Magno, Ruru Madrid, Kiko Estrada, Jacob Ejercito, and ended with the reveal of Brazilian artistic gymnast and Olympic medalist, Arthur Nory. The last segment, Bench Swim, was the ultimate summer spectacle, with Bench bodies such as Winwyn Marquez, Katarina Rodriguez, Beauty Gonzalez, Sanya Lopez, David Licauco, and Solenn Heussaff rocking the brand’s hottest swimwear pieces. 

For the ultimate finale, swimmer and two-time Olympic gold medalist Conor Dwyer made his way down the BFW runway, with supermodel girlfriend Kelsey Merritt gushing in the front row.

Between the fashion show and the special dinner hosted by Bench king Ben Chan for the two Olympians, I was able to make it to the baptism and grand celebration of the fourth set of twins of Aficionado big boss Joel Cruz. 

Joel Cruz, hailed as the Lord of Scents, mounted quite a fete with the Christening ceremonies for his seventh and eighth kids. The new baby boys were born four months apart last year. Zaid, whose Arabic name means “to prosper,” was born on June 23, whileZiv, whose Jewish name means “charm or brilliance,” followed on November 6. Joel’s eight IVF children all have the same mother. His own mother Milagros and family members, together with a battalion of caregivers, all dote on the lovely children. 

On a bright sunny Sunday afternoon. the baptism at the Santuario de San Antonio Parish in Forbes Park had 94 godparents, all of whom did a processional just like in a wedding march. After the festivities, the godparents and guests were feted to cocktails and dinner at the Makati Shangri-la. 

There seems to be a baby boom, what with so many baptisms that I have been attending. Another recent christening was for baby Amos, the newest bundle of joy of Michelle Garcia and Ariel Arce. Marriott’s cluster director of marketing communications and the big guy of Arce Dairy ice cream pulled out all the stops for a memorable and one-of-a-kind baptismal event for their three-month-old son. 

The ceremony was held at the St. Therese Church in Pasay City and afterwards, family members and guests proceeded to the adjacent Marriott Grand Ballroom where its Diplomatic Hall was transformed into a blue-and-white wonderland straight out of Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. 

Michelle entrusted the venue styling to Teddy Manuel, who combined old world elegance and sophistication with a touch of childlike whimsy. The space was covered in flowy white strips of silk fabric gathered around a stunning spherical chandelier. 

Guests included former Miss Universe Margie Moran, Annabelle Rama, Joel Cruz, and many more, all treated to the sounds of the Spirit of ‘67 band for entertainment. 

With all the activities, I was so ready to hit my bed. Thanks to my Uratex Premium, I always have quality sleep. In celebration of World Sleep Day, Uratex Premium, in partnership with Our Home, recently held a series of informative activities to promote proper sleep for a healthy wellbeing at SM Mall of Asia.

Part of the event was the launch of Uratex Premium’s “Sleep Hive,” the ideal space to get the best sleep experience. It featured Uratex Premium’s collection of luxurious mattresses, including Orthocare, Sensory Memory and Premium Touch. The first is made of orthopedic foam material with Biorhythmic Technology to reduce stress and provide the best back support. 

World Sleep Day culminated with “Healthy Slumber, Healthy You,” an afternoon of talks about beauty, wellness and the importance of good sleep. Sharing their expertise were Happy Skin CEO Rissa Mananquil-Trillo and sleep specialist Dr. Keith Aguilera.

Uratex Premium’s top executives, CEO Natividad Cheng, trade marketing director Dindo Medina, sales director Stephen Lee, marketing director Cherry Wong-Tan and others, all graced the event. Uratex Premium advocates World Sleep Day by sharing its mission of celebrating sleep. I’ll zzzzz to that!

See more pics on Instagram @seaprincess888.

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